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Mel Martinez, Ted Kennedy and the Miami Workers Center to be feted

Mel Martinez will share a stage with Edward Kennedy at The National Council of La Raza's Capital Awards gala next week in DC.

La Raza, which bills itself as the nation's largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, says its is honoring the Republican and the Democrat for their "outstanding support of public policies that are vital to Hispanic Americans." 

La Raza will also present the Capital Award for public service to the Miami Workers Center for its civic engagement efforts during the 2008 presidential election.

 NCLR president Janet Murguía, called Martinez a "trailblazer for the Latino community.

"He came to the U.S. as a child without his parents through Operation Peter Pan and went on to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a U.S. senator, and the first Latino to lead the Republican National Committee," she said, noting that Martinez also played an integral role in the comprehensive immigration reform debate.

And she said the Miami Workers Center "played an important role in the 2008 presidential election, mobilizing thousands of Latinos to engage in the democratic process."